Fire walking – the hobby that’s mind over matter
The objective of fire walking is to walk on cinders, hot coals or rocks without burning your feet. Fire walking has become popular in self-empowerment and motivational activities because it teaches you the power of the mind to overcome fear. Most people are afraid of getting burned and such fear is normal. In order to overcome this fear, you must restructure the mind. The idea is that if you can restructure the mind to the point that the fear of fire and being burned is overcome, you can certainly restructure the mind so that limiting beliefs and fears that prevent you from achieving what you want in life can also be overcome.
We all have things we want but sometimes annoying insecurities and fears create a mental barrier. One thing about fire-walking is that it can give a much-needed boost of confidence. It isn’t impossible, but it looks like it is… and everyone can benefit from feeling like they’ve achieved the unpossible now and then.
It is possible to walk across very hot coals and not get severely burned. The coals in fire-walking events spend a certain amount of time burning before someone walks across them. So, by the time a participant walks across them, they have been reduced to nearly nothing but carbon. As such, the coals are then simply a light carbon structure that is a weak conductor of heat it takes a long time for the heat to transfer from the hot coal to the participant’s skin. Also, the ash covering the hot coals works as an insulator and helps prevent the heat from escaping’ from the coals and reaching the skin.
Now, before you think that you can stand in the remains of a recent bonfire, wait just a minute you can’t. If you do, you will be very badly burned. To make it safely across the hot coals, you have to walk quickly. When the participant walks briskly, the feet are not on the coals for very long before they lift up after each step. The amount of time that the skin is in contact with the surface is not long enough for the heat to reach the skin because of the insulating ash and the poor conductivity of the carbon.
Now that you understand how it works, walking across a bed of hot coals doesn’t sound so scary. Doing something as interesting and social as firewalking (in a safe environment where people know exactly what they’re doing) can be a good way of just spending time with friends too. Best of all, overcoming your fear of fire can help you look at yourself in a whole new light.
Fire walking is one of those small things in life that you will nevertheless want to put on your cosmic CV of “Things I have genuinely achieved in life”. And so consider yourself rather boringly warned by Mooky Towers: Fire walking is not something to do unsupervised.